This article popped up in my news feed.
This article popped up in my news feed.
Odd article... Doesn't mention Alexa's TV/Movie credits (ie recent or big ones) - nor the Epic with it's latest round of movie credits. Reading this, it's obviously a quick piece of oddly (ie very quickly!) researched journalism.It seems the writer is trying to paint a particular picture, but I don't think her facts match.
Last edited by Andy White; 06-08-2012 at 06:03 AM.
I don't get the point of the article, which suggests that ARRI is symbolic of what is wrong with Germany? For one thing, ARRI doesn't want or need to be another Panasonic, Canon, or Sony... nor does Red. The article doesn't seem to have a clear idea of trends in movie production, nor does it understand the place of a company like ARRI in it.
I don't get the point either. According to the article, Germany must be in quite some trouble since the ARRI Alexa is portrayed as the sole beacon of hope. What about car manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz? Of course, Europe's economy doesn't look bright, but the author forgot to mention that Germany is still the fourth-largest economy in the world. In my opinion, a journalist should do proper research before writing an article...
Well, that's the first time I've seen anyone talk about "Flip" cameras in an article about professional grade digital cinema cameras...
"Surprise: It turns out that what worked in the heyday of Black Forest cuckoo clocks doesn’t suit our era."
Wow. Just wow.
I have to agree with the article. In the industrial age attention to detail meant only those who really invested a lot of time in perfecting a product could create something great. In the digital age if you want to make a perfect copy you just copy->paste. It's a lot harder to have proprietary ideas than it is proprietary execution. The same applies to Red. If they don't keep pressing forward in short order they'll be replaced by a cheap copy that's "good enough".
People already said that 2k was enough. Even many redusers think 4k is more than enough. I'm not hearing anyone clamor for 6k. This is problematic for any developer who is singularly focused on delivery resolution. A "digital cinema camera" has been achieved by both Arri and Red. A "digital still camera" was long ago achieved by Canon and Hasselblad. I think Dragon/F65/Alexa II is going to be the last traditional cinema camera. After that we're entering largely uncharted waters previously dominated by research and academic institutes not production tools.
Nokia has an 8k smart phone for sale today. They're using it as a 4:1 zoom for 1080p. Imagine a 16k camera with a pancake wide angle lens that gives you 4:1 zooms for 4k. Or a lightfield camera like the Lytro where the focus is locked. Imagine a camera with 24 stops of dynamic range, do you still need an aperture? Imagine a camera which can accurately capture a substantial portion of the ACES colorspace. This isn't far off, and when that happens cameras will be a commodity. They'll all be so good and will all be able to look exactly like any other camera.
I read the article as a question: is Arri nimble enough to keep up with these trends or are they just going to continue polishing the traditional camera form? Innovate or die. I see great craftsmanship on the part of Arri but without innovation even the most incompetent Chinese clone factory is going to make cameras as just good before too long. Which isn't to say that RED has proven itself ready either. Black magic released a lousy (but cheap) 3k camera at NAB this year. The same commoditization of techology that's allowed RED to enter the market is only going to lower the bar of entry to more and more people.
Nokia used to be able to dominate the cell phone market since new competitors had to build an entire product from start to finish. Now a new cell phone company is like Dell, they just buy the parts and put it in a box and install the OS. The REDOne was largely an assemblage of off the shelf technology. I'm sure the Blackmagic camera was an assemblage of sourced-parts. How long until there is an Epic quality commodity chip? I would wager not terribly long. Look at Apple, they like Arri had great craftsmanship--and everybody and their mother bought PCs. Their only saving grace was that they found a new market that hadn't been commoditized yet. If 1st world economies want to survive they have to have something which can't be easily copied. Cinema grade cameras might be hard to copy today--but isn't that what we said about film? "Good enough" digital cameras killed Arri's camera business before the Alexa was released. We'll have to wait and see if they have the flexibility and desire to keep up with technology going forward.
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